There have now been four reported Mumps cases in Barton County, Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider said.
Of those four, only one has been confirmed and two are under investigation, she said. One of the cases turned out to be a false alarm.
Each instance has to investigated as if it was a real case. So, she said, the work load doesn’t change.
If there are two confirmed cases, it is considered an outbreak, Schneider said.
It was Feb. 17 that the first case came to light. Schneider said she received the call from the school nurse at 3:30 p.m. on that Friday, after all the kids had gone home.
Then, on Saturday, parents and guardians were notified by an email from Schneider and USD 428 interim superintendent Khris Thexton. This led to phone calls from worried parents.
The incident arose on the weekend prior to Monday being Presidents Day and the Health Department was scheduled to be closed. But, Schneider said her staff came in on Saturday to take calls and the office opened Monday to give vaccinations.
Fortunately, those who needed the vaccine came in and got it. Those who had come in contact with the student who had the suspected case were up to date on their shots.
Mumps can be prevented with MMR vaccine. This protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults also should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
Barton County has an 80 percent MMR immunization rate.